by Krystal Stennett
2015 could definitely be described as the year of the comeback, musically at least. We’ve seen some significant comebacks from artist we’ve loved since day one and from artists whose previous music we’re willing to forget ever happened to bask in the LITness of these new tracks. Sup Biebs. As we set out to journey through 2016, let us at least do so with a reminder of some of the greats. Here is a playlist with some of my favorites and a review of each track.
A collection: texts from Mom
(p.s. Not the original track, listen to that slow, sad shit on your own time.)
LIFE IS WORTH LIVING-Justin Bieber
Because sometimes you need a reminder. By the last verse you can tell 2015 was hard for Justin too, but he’s working on a better him and I think that’s beautiful.
What I get for my reflection
Is a different perception
From what the world may see
They try to crucify me
I ain’t perfect won’t deny it
My reputation’s on the line
So I’m working on a better me
Life is worth living, oh yeah
MY HEART RACES ON-Lil Wayne ft. Jake Troth
Who is Jake Troth? Shouts to you my g. This is one of those duets that you never thought you needed but then you hear it and don’t want to imagine a world where the track doesn’t exist. Wayne can be heard exchanging a few words with the Lord. He lets him know that should his Bugatti come to a dead end, that’s okay because the only place he has yet to visit is heaven. He is a lyricist and this track is a perfect reminder of exactly how much of a great one he is.
DARK PLACES-Angel Haze
When a friend told me about this song I liked it after the first listen. Angel shares some tips on how to gracefully take that L. How you choose to use those tips is up to you. Bless up.
WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE-Adele
Adele easily paints a clear picture with her lyrics. Water under the bridge feels like a melodic narration of what could be an amazing HBO drama. Long story short I cried. Drop this at the disco and go nuts, try not to slip in your own tears.
NO SENSE-Justin Bieber ft. Travis Scott
Only thing that doesn’t make sense is where he has been hiding all this heat tbh. My main focus while listening to this song is trying not to die so I may have the pleasure of hearing it another time, everything about this song is great. Also, after hearing La Flame’s verse, I think I can find it in my heart to forgive him for trying to come between Rihanna and I.
I DON’T BELONG TO YOU-Keke Palmer
I can’t recall hearing a song by Keke Palmer prior to this but she definitely seems like she has seen the inside of a recording studio a few times. Don’t fact check this. London on the Track did a dope job with the beats and Keke sounds amazing.
GIRLS ON DRUGS-Wale
Meek has been telling Wale that he “ain’t MMG no more” so much that I think even Wale himself is starting to believe it. Wale took 2014 to focus on his Instagram and to sneaker shop, thankfully he got bored of that by 2015 and dropped The Album About Nothing. That guy from Seinfeld appears on most of the tracks from that album for reasons still unknown to me. “Girls on Drugs” is on of the few that he did not utter a word on, blessings.
RUSH HOUR-Mac Miller
Between the references from Rush Hour to Ellen DeGeneres and the lyric “Homie we just out here trying to elevate” this song is complete gold. Mac mentions that the world “don’t give a fuck about your loneliness,” which leads me to believe Mac has been doing some deep thinking. I wonder if he still plans to take over the world like he’s on his “Donald Trump shit” or in light of recent events he would rather go for a different approach.
Firstly, any song with a Jamaican reference is one that I can get with. This is THE comeback i’ve been waiting for. I would like to thank not only Lil but also Mama.
Whet, look at the flick of da wrist
Whet, look at the flick of da, whet, whet
Look at da flick of the bish
WE GON MAKE IT-Rick Ross
Lira held it down at Holyfield’s estate while Rozay was behind bars so he could come back and bless us with Black Dollar. “We Gon Make It” begins with the audio of a reporter covering Baltimore after protest began for Freddie Gray. The frequency in which we see incidents of this sort taking place and the often graphic content that comes with it all can be a bit too much to handle at times. With this song Rozay aims to remind us that irregardless of this all, we gon make it.
BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY-Rihanna
I had dial up internet in primary school and would sit for hours waiting for images of Rihanna to load online so I could print them, replace the images of Jesus in my grandma’s key chains with Rihanna and hang them on my Jansport. I don’t think any of my classmates were ready for the thorough review of Music of The Sun and the breakdown of the geographic location and proximity between Jamaica and Barbados they got after asking me who that girl in the key chain was. I was so proud of my fellow Caribbean girl and every ounce of pride I felt back then comes back whenever I hear this song. Eff it up Rih!
(p.s. Sanaam man!)
Any review from myself would just stain the good nature of this song. Here is an excerpt from an M.I.A. TIME interview answering the question “In the second verse of the song you call attention to the way we talk about celebrities: “queen,” “slaying it,” “being bae.” Why talk about that in the same song you address refugees?”
M.I.A.: “I don’t know where kindness and compassion and humanity come through in our popular culture. That’s kind of how it started: the concept of reigning and being a queen and slaying people appreciates you being quite a selfish, power-hungry human, and it’s praise. That’s the values we uphold. I think these are questions that a refugee or a migrant would go through. Maybe in 20 years one of them will be like me, but a lot of them just want to come over and have a flat screen and drive a car and get a job and be on that pecking order where they’re going to be called bae or queen. They want to be slaying it. Not in a way that they want to blow up the local McDonald’s. They’re the same as everyone else. They want to look good and wear nice clothes and have a nice job and be seen doing well.”
MONEY AND POWDER-Rick Ross
Rozay releases at least two tapes each year but his masterful comeback from the pen cannot go unrecognized. Should I ever have to lip sync to save my life, I am confident this song has secured my future. Something about repeating the lyrics “I bought a mansion in Bahamas with the all red walls. Snatching lobsters out the water heavy butter for my dawgs” that makes me feel like I can do anything. A+ Ross, shouts to the pears.
WTF (WHERE THEY FROM)-Missy Elliott
To be quite honest, a Missy comeback needs no explanation or review. If you don’t know why this track is so great you don’t deserve to hear it.
Neither ANTI nor SWISH has seen the light of day as yet but LISTEN, they both made this list by default because I KNOW ME.
Krystal Stennett lives in Jamaica and likes telling people that she lives in Jamaica. Follow her on Twitter.